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This Day in Georgia History

March 06, 1857

James M. Wayne and Dred Scott Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its Dred Scott decision. The case had been filed in St. Louis by Dred Scott, a slave who filed a lawsuit seeking his freedom. The Supreme Court, however, turned his case down, holding that black Americans were not citizens. Associate Justice James M. Wayne of Georgia issued a concurring opinion supporting the court’s decision. Though supported by politicians and newspaper editors in the South, the Dred Scott decision met angry opposition in the North and was an important factor leading to Abraham Lincoln’s election three years later.